Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Part 2

We were unable to make it to the Canton Christmas festival due once again to RAIN and illness on Nonny's part so this will have to go into next year's "to do list" along with the Teddy Bear tea party at the Roosevelt hotel in New Orleans I just recently learned about! Yes I am already thinking about next year's plans-that's who I am!

If Carsyn's enthusiasm continues to grow from where she was this year I don't know if she will survive Christmas when she is 5!

Dec 22 Christmas gathering #1- Immediate Smith family

We had a lovely low key pizza and gifts at the immediate Smith's because they were going to Disney World the following day. Carsyn scored a Cinderella Carriage tent that she of course loved. And Danny and I (among other items) received a very much needed Vacuum cleaner! I might actually use it! I know the Webbs next door will be thankful I will no longer borrow theirs!

Dec 23 Since we were unable to make Canton Danny and I took Carsyn to see the lights at the

Tylertown Christmas in the park! It was so magical and beautiful (even with the rain ...YET AGAIN!). I couldn't believe Danny had never been seeing as how this was their 12th year in operation. He was blown away that this was in our very own backyard so to speak! If you live nearby it is a must see! Carsyn did scream the entire 20 minutes back home I presume due to it being past her bedtime, but regardless it was magical while it lasted!

Dec 24 Christmas Eve

We headed over to my Aunt Jane's house in Bassfield for the annual Christmas Eve gathering. We have not been in a few years and this is almost more fun than Christmas Day because I have such a large family. The attention this year was focused on Carsyn, Gracie, and Aiden of course. Carsyn (2) just went from one present to another opening it not even looking at her prizes until later, Gracie (6) while once like Carsyn now took her time opening each gift examining them, and Aiden (5 months) well he just drooled and spit up. Carsyn received too much stuff and Santa hadn't even come yet! The older family members decided to play dirty santa this year and I came away with a cookbook (while my scarf was strategically stolen from me ;)) and Danny got some always needed screwdrivers.

Dec 25th Christmas Morning!

Once again as she did last year- Carsyn woke up numerous times so we actually didn't get to see Santa presents until later than normal. I even got up first and had breakfast ready by the time she awoke! When she finally did see her gifts she just walked around in awe as I recall doing every time I awoke on Christmas morning. I started going into panic mode wondering where I was going to put everything! Why did Santa and the grandparents bring so much!!!

We hopped in the car again to head back to Bassfield for Christmas dinner. It was VERY low key and relaxing. No more football playing in the yard for us older we preferred a nap instead! I declared that Christmas 2011 will hopefully God willing be at my house in a new home- the 1 hr drive one way twice was a tad tedious!

Dec 26th PLAY and ORGANIZE

I did find places for most of all of her new toys however I can't seem to keep Carsyn from dumping all of the 500000 pieces on the floor. Why do toys have to have 500000 pieces?! I will return the favor to those who gave her these items! ;)

So all in all a memorable and albeit wet Christmas. We all got way more than we should have and I know myself and Danny feel very fortunate if not a little gluttonous for all that we have.

I hope to give a toy review on some of the gifts she received for anyone looking to purchase for a toddler. Although I don't think she has had time to play with everything yet!

Aww one of my new faves! Carsyn and Gracie
Gracie will always be my first model....

Santa came!!!

The Santa Loot- pre-Carsyn destruction- notice the JUMPOLENE in my dining room from birthday!

Love this one too! She loved playing the piano!

Gracie keeping her in line!

Allie, baby Aiden, and Erin

Cousin Jeremy always the comedian- he wore his tacky christmas outfit

Friday, December 18, 2009

2009 Christmas part 1

What a NASTY DREARY December we have had thus far! I am so glad that we have Christmas lights to bring some brightness to our days!

We were a tad late with getting our tree up this year but we finally managed to make it to the Christmas tree farm and choose one. This was our first experience with cutting our own tree but I hope we can continue to keep it a family tradition. It is HUGE! It definitely took some effort decorating but it is pretty.

We didn't make it to the Mccomb Christmas parade because it was the day it snowed and they moved it to the afternoon which is nap time, however we unexpectedly got to see the Summit parade. Carsyn and I were sitting eating dinner one night waiting for Danny to get home and I saw Police lights down the street. My first thought was "OH LAWD- is there a drug bust? What's going on" then 10 minutes later more police lights. I decide to step out on my porch to listen and low and behold I could hear a marching band. I grabbed Carsyn and walked down to the end of our street (about 200 yards) and it was the Summit Christmas parade. I swear to you it had to be the most magical thing a 2 yr old could witness because she talked about it for a week. I am surprised she went to bed that night. She kept "SANTA" "HO HO HO" "NEIGH" "TANDY" !!! She definitely knew who Santa was after this and has continued to squeal with delight when she sees a replica.

While Carsyn loves to tell you "Loot SANTA" when it came time to meet the jolly old man she wasn't as "cited" as she thought she was. Here is last year's pic and here is this year's---yes I had to join in the picture!

We also went to the Church Christmas party which was a blast. Once again the older girls swept her away to play with her. I love it! I wish they could be at my house all of the time! Ha Ha!

One evening Carsyn and I went over to the Johnston Chapel Methodist live nativity. You start at the beginning of the road and they give you a cd with the Christmas story that you listen to as you drive down and look at the nativity scenes. It was really neat and Carsyn enjoyed seeing the farm animals- one goat in particular was very vocal! Ha Ha! I hope they will have this again next year when she will understand more.

This week Carsyn had her school's Christmas party. I went for a little while. At age 2 (most other babies younger) it doesn't entail much other than eating. She has been painting me some Christmas art that has been on the fridge.

We haven't made it to any Christmas programs which I am sad about. Either weather, illness, or sleepiness has detained us. However Nonny did give her a Christmas song book which we have read every day and her favorite Christmas song is Jingle Bells.

Next on our Christmas festivities is Christmas lights in Tylertown and Christmas on the square in Canton.

Christmas morning should be very interesting when Carsyn sees what Santa brought her!

Singing Rain Rain Dow Away...

Checking out the nutcracker during one of my many photo shoots with her.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Your Pre-schooler week 1

Ever since I became pregnant with Carsyn I have received emails from informing me of what I can expect in Carsyn's development. First it said Your baby this week, then Your toddler this week, and my mouth hit the floor this week when I read Your Pre-schooler this week! My baby is now considered a Pre-schooler?! I don't think so! But alas as I looked back over her photo albums on my computer while preparing for her 2nd birthday party I got misty-eyed realizing that my baby was not a baby anymore.

In fact here are several instances where she is already trying to gain her independence. At the church fellowship one of the older girls asked to play with her (they all think she is their personal babydoll) and when I went to check on her Carsyn saw me and said "Hey I payin' Bye" to inform me that it was girls only no mom's allowed! SERIOUSLY! 2? Then she did a similar instance to her dad by giving him a kiss she knew he would give her what she wanted and then leave. Where do these manipulating skills come from?

In addition to the continual "NO" and "MINE" she does more often understand affection and will come to me and ask "TISS (kiss) PEES" and "HOLD ME." I think as she approached her 2 yr birthday mark she too wanted to remind me she was still my baby.

For her birthday party I decided to do 2 small parties. Never again will that happen! But they were a success. On Friday Carsyn's actually birthday I had a small pajama party for our usually play group buddies. Everyone wore their fave pjs and I had breakfast foods- brunch casserole, pancakes on a stick, and a donut cake! As Carsyn's gift from me and her father I got a Jumpolene- I KNEW she would love it as she LOVES to jump and I figured it would entertain 7 toddlers. Boy was I right! It was perfect for a dreary winter morning! While it is quite cumbersome and large I think it might be my saving grace this winter especially if the weather continues to be so wet!

Carsyn quickly understood the concept that this party was all about her. And when she opened her first gift (4 pair of princess high-heels) her face was PRICELESS! The next evening we had all family members over for dinner and cake. I have never seen a child tear through presents like she did! She wasn't even looking at what she got she just wanted to OPEN OPEN OPEN! I am afraid she is going to be in present overload with Christmas in 2 weeks. Poor kid- maybe I will celebrate her birthday in July one year?

Also she LOVED having Happy Birthday sung to her. She made me sing it OVER AND OVER AND OVER for 3 days! She would try to sing along with me "Hey Burday...." She actually tries to sing along to several songs now! The cutest thing ever! She also says "I cited I cited" (I excited) which I LOVE!

It seems that presents aren't the only thing she received for her 2nd birthday a nasty cold has taken over as well as her 2 yr old molars coming in. So needless to say after the excitement ended we have been in a bit of no sleep funk! Yes I felt she was trying to re-create labor when she awoke every 2 hrs the night of her birthday. And it has continued for a week now with hardly any napping as well.

Birthday pics are here - Blogger takes wayyy too long to upload.

Let's play catch up shall we?

Where I have I been you ask? Well I took a little hiatus from the blogging world for a few weeks. Between getting photography orders completed in time for Christmas and preparing for a Princess' 2nd Birthday party, and let's not forget the ear infections and now a new series of runny noses I just haven't felt up to it. On the one hand I have gotten to give my family more attention but I also have missed documenting some great milestones.

Let's see last I wrote was the week before Thanksgiving. As always we headed to Clinton to visit with Danny's grandparents and the Smith family members. It was very low-key but relaxing as always. Since they have no technology, computers/tv/etc, conversation and napping are your only source of entertainment which is nice for a change. It was an unusually cold day for November in South Mississippi, but we did step outside for a brief few moments to take some pics of Carsyn and Morgan for Christmas cards. All in all lots to be Thankful for this year!

Oh and I made a 2nd attempt at preparing my Grandmother's dressing and low and behold I got it right! It still didn't taste like her's though I guess it never will since it is missing one main ingredient "Her Love." My mom came over the day before to visit and she and I and Carsyn got to work in the kitchen preparing our part of the meals. Carsyn LOVES to bake and my mom continuously recited sayings my grandmother used to say while we cooked. It was a lovely memory. In her own Bet way "Do you think this is enough onions chopped? Well it's just going to have to be because I'm not chopping anymore." :)

The following week South Mississippi received its 1st snowfall for the 3rd year in a row! Last year it was on Carsyn's birthday and we lost power all day so I was happy that it came a week early and we kept power this time! It missed our anniversary by a day I think. Snow pictures are here!

That's right December is full of events for this family. Danny and I celebrated 4 years this month. I am not the type to gush about my significant other or try to describe our relationship as something as a fairy tale, but while we share our ups and downs and still continue to learn about one another this year was definitely the best anniversary yet. Sometimes I can't believe he puts up with me. It was celebrated very low key with a quick dinner but we hope to get away in the coming weeks for a night. He also surprised me with a day at the spa including lunch...not just a massage...a DAY! I almost am too guilty to go use it...almost.

Next came Carsyn's birthday party. I will post a separate post with pictures but I definitely think this little princess had a ball! She learned quickly that birthday and Christmas entailed gifts so every time she heard you mention them she would begin shrieking! I am trying to figure out how you teach a 2 yr old with a birthday in December how to appreciate her gifts? She actually had 2 parties- a pajama party for her playgroup buddies on Friday morning and a separate family party on Sat evening. More on next blog.

So here we are in the aftermath of birthday land and still trying to remember the reason for the Christmas season. It is so difficult to put earthly celebrations aside to remind me and my 2 yr old why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. As I read her bible storybook to her the other night she started reciting the stories to me by memory. "Jeejus" she said as I turned to the story about the birth of Jesus. Wow! I couldn't believe it! Maybe I'm not doing that bad of a job.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh where to begin...

Time is flying. I can't stop it! I can't find time to blog but Carsyn has been keeping us in stitches. Let's see if I can recall some moments of our past week.

Last I wrote I was departing for Texas for my photography seminar! It was AWESOME! At first I felt guilty actually getting to eat a meal in a restaurant but I got over it! Carsyn got undivided attention from both grandparents and her daddy. It was good for her to be with other care takers. While I was in Dallas it made me realize I have to start doing more things for myself. I have a small list on my photo blog of goals to achieve next year.

As I was leaving I could hear Carsyn starting to get a cough. We have been fortunate to only be sick once in her 2 years and that was a quick ear infection. I prayed she would stay well while I was gone and sure enough when I returned was when it climaxed. On Thursday night she could not sleep because she could not breathe or stop coughing. I tried everything but I literally slept in the recliner holding her up right all night. On Friday we went to stat care and she had double ear infections. Friday night was also a rough night of sleep but on Saturday she was starting to get back to her old self and by Sunday she was good to go! I have one tough cookie!

On Sunday at church as the lord's supper was being passed Carsyn said "What's that?" I said "Bread" she said "Manna?" I looked at Danny and said did you hear that? I couldn't believe it. You see every night we read her book of bible stories and the story about Moses talkes about God supplying them with bread when they had nothing to eat and the bread is called Manna. Danny shook his head "Yep" as both of our jaws were open. To make sure when we were reading at bedtime I asked her what the bread was called and sure enough she said "Manna." She not only is a tough cookie but a smart one too!

Her language has now grown into sentences-all be it short ones but I have heard her say new words I had no idea she knew. She also mimics me constantly. Guess I better start watching myself more!

Carsyn is very loving to her friends and I love to see her call her friends by names and hug them goodbye. I know she will have a blast at her birthday party in a few weeks with her nearest and dearest.

Just this week she has discovered what Christmas trees are and Santa Claus. We haven't put up our decorations but I can already tell she will be briming with excitement! Getting to share in a child's excitement makes life so worthwhile!

It is amazing to see that the little baby I had just yesterday is now becoming a little person able to understand empathy, love, and excitement!

Even under the weather Carsyn was able to enjoy some baking this week....she says "BOWL BOWL Mama Shake (Stir)." It should be interesting preparing Thanksgiving meals with my little helper!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Almost 2

Today Carsyn is 23 months! One more month until the BIG 2! I thought I had her birthday party planned out like 2 months ago but then I abruptly changed my mind! Having a birthday in December is difficult when you don't know what the weather will entail! Anyway Carsyn will actual have 2 small parties- one for her buddies and one for just family. More details later!

This past month has definitely been interesting- they don't call it terrible TWOs for nothing! But luckily at this age she comes up with some hilarious tidbits that keep us laughing our way through the tantrums! I do wonder though why she can scream No No No yet when she actually says yes she only nods her head? And everything is "I don't like insert anything here from bread to book."

Carsyn LOVES to be chased and she will call your name and stick her finger up in front of her face like in a (kitchee kitchee koo) motion to tell you to come get her. While this is beyond cute and I don't mind playing chase- having to play chase at bedtime every night does get old!

Speaking of bedtime- for the most part Carsyn's sleep has regulated (for her anyway). This time change definitely threw us all for a loop but I think we are back on track. She still will wake once a night some nights and I change her diaper because it is already soaked by 1AM?! I swear I don't know if any other child teestees as much as her! But in all honesty I would rather her wake once for a few minutes and then sleep until 6:30 later than sleep straight and wake up at 5:45 which is usually the case.

When things are locked such as a gate or stuck she started yelling "TIGHT TIGHT" I thought it was hilarious the first time I heard that this month. I don't know how she associated that word with stuck but I guess it fits!

Her language is increasing and becoming more clearer every day. She sat down with me and a puzzle this week and named all of the animals and their sounds and put them in the right spot. Pretty good, huh?!

Well I am presently packing for my photo conference in Dallas this weekend so say a prayer that I can enjoy it and not worry constantly about my baby. And pray that Carsyn and Daddy survive- I'm sure they will do fine. :)

A picture for the fall..

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Buttercup Children's Boutique

Last week I was asked to photograph some children modeling for Buttercup Children's Boutique for their Christmas television commercial. Of course they asked Carsyn Belle to be one of their models! Let me tell you it was a LOT of work photographing 6 toddlers at the same time! Here are some of my faves from Carsyn's shots. Of course I was trying to focus on the clothing not the models so not my typical photography.
She did all of these poses on her own with no direction from me...I guess she has had some practice...hee hee...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crazy Mama and the rest of our Halloween festivus

I am sooo slacking on the blog! It is the busy time of the year and I am feeling myself pulled in multiple directions! Add the time change and and well there just aren't enough waking hours in the day!
Well to continue with where I left off on the Halloween festivities- Carsyn did a trunk or treat with friends, her first school party, a hayride with friends, pumpkin painting with Maddy, and actual trick or treating. I would definitely say that this Halloween she was more aware of the goal.....TANDY!!!!!!! Oh I just get sick of thinking about how much sugar she has consumed in the past week. Thankfully I think it is all gone now, but the damage has been done and now all I hear is "Tandy Tandy Tandy, Dum Dum, Dum" (Candy and Gum). And in all honesty my child is more interested in the actual possession of candy rather than eating it. She will sit and play with it and organize it and dump it back and forth into her pumpkin but never really consumes an entire piece. She pulls out one and says "Ope Ope Peas" and then when I open it she tastes it and hands it back and says "I don't ike" But heaven forbid if I were to tell her she didn't need to open it because she wouldn't like it. Nope she must learn for herself! Anyway I am happy to see that holiday pass as we now get ready for even more busy months!
Yesterday Danny, Carsyn, and I took a road trip to Covington, Louisiana. There was really no reason other than I thought it would be a nice afternoon trip and I have a fellow photographer acquaintance there who was going to take our family Christmas photo. The ride down was nice and Carsyn actually had to be woken up after sleeping for almost 2 hrs!! What? And I had a feeling there would probably be a park we could play at while we waited for our photo session but I had no idea it would be as awesome as the one we found. It was HUGE and looked like castles. The wood was solid and big enough for adults to run around and play on. I'm not sure who had more fun- Danny or Carsyn! It was great watching them have quality time together. Unfortunately I have no pics of this to share because I was off camera duty. Brittany took our pics and hopefully I can share some on the blog my professional opinion I think it went great! After stopping at a bite to eat at one of our fave restaurants in Hammond, Kirin, we headed home.
So that is a wrap up on what we have been doing the past few days. I am EXTREMELY busy (which is good, right?!) with photography right now. I have lots of sessions to edit and I am doing portraits for a children's boutique commercial. I get my new camera tomorrow which I am beyond ECSTATIC about! And next week I go to Dallas for a 3 day conference! This will be Danny and Carsyn's first time to be alone together overnight.
Here are some snapshots of our Halloween fun...

Carsyn and Hannah
Carsyn's funny pumpkin

Thinking about her pumpkin design?

She loves to hold Hannah's hand

Ahhh Tandy!

Our storytime friends

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkins Pumpkins everywhere!!!!

Well this will be my first post about pumpkins because before the week is over we will have more pumpkin pics to post!!!! Wow I am already in Halloween overload so I don't know how Carsyn will handle all of the festivity!
To begin, last Friday Lyndsay(neighbor) and her daughter Maddy (Really do they need continuous descriptions- you know who they are) went to Hammond to the pumpkin patch. It was cute and had lots of farm animals (I also do not think I have seen so many farm animals in one month!) to pet. Had Carsyn not been overtired due to a late bedtime she probably would have enjoyed it more and allowed me to enjoy it more. She actually told me "NO pictures!" I took some anyway....

Then fast-forward to Monday and I took my camera to story time because I knew that Miss. Mattie would have something adorably Halloween for them to do. I was right. Here are some snapshots of them feeding the pumpkin monster Pecans and the pumpkins they made. (Not the greatest pics but hey just snapshots)

Monday night we attended Parklane Academy's fall fest. No pics from that night- there wasn't really much for a toddler to do...note to Parklane include some beanbag toss or something next year for the little ones! Carsyn did ride the pony which I didn't think she would follow thru with, but she loved it! Actually she demanded we wait in the eternal (30 min) line so she could ride him!

Today is Carsyn's school Halloween party, Tonight is Trunk or Treat, and Saturday is Hayride and Trick or Treat...... OH MY!!! She has the candy part down...she has been running around with her pumpkin treat bag saying "TANDY TANDY TANDY!" Oh Goodness!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

99th Franklinton Fair

Yesterday afternoon we headed over to Washington Parish, LA for the Franklinton Fair! Last year we went with the Taylor's but we couldn't seem to get our schedules lined up. Surprisingly we found out our neighbor's the Webbs were also going the same time as us so Carsyn got to have her BFF with her!

Last year since Carsyn was only 10 months old she didn't really have a clue as to what was going on but oh what a difference a year makes!!!! She caught on quick that she needed tickets for the ride and as soon as one ride would end she would say "tick tick tick" and point to the next ride she wanted to go on. And forget the slow train and carousel- those were boring to her she wanted the rides that actually did something like go up and down or were a tad faster! My little dare-devil! One of the things I love most about having a child is getting to re-live my childhood and all that being a child entails! I think Danny and I enjoyed the rides as much as she did.

So I will let the Pictures speak for themselves since they are worth a thousand words.....

I didn't want Danny to take her on this but she LOVED it and immediately wanted to go again!

See why I didn't want her to go...look how high it was!

yeah I enjoyed the helicopter too!

Eh- the carousel is for babies....

Looking at the farm animals...this fair reminds you of Charlotte's web...nothing like the MS state fair

Webb family at the funhouse

They don't call it the FUNhouse for nothing!

Mr. Mitch is too funny....

Look Mama I am riding the truck with Maddy!

Ho Hum again- around and around boring

Now this one is more like it!
I know it is blurry but I still think it is hilarious! Photographers call this "emotionally in focus!"

Wave your arms like you just don't care!!!! (She actually started copying me...gotta watch myself!) Ha Ha!

Love this one! Life is good! :)